Guide to the Chemistry Building


The main Chemistry building (Building 555) has been designed to make adequate facilities available for research and to provide an informal atmosphere for free exchange among Department members. There are public areas, shared laboratories, shared office space, and privately assigned places. A newcomer to the building should become familiar with locations of the key areas.

Stairs and Elevators - Building 555

The central main staircase and a passenger elevator are for personnel traffic only.  Each wing has a staircase. There is a rear staircase for traffic directly to service areas.  The building has a freight elevator at the rear core. Flammable material, chemicals, solvents, gas cylinders, etc. can be transported in the freight elevator but not in the passenger elevator.  Do not ride with gas cylinders or dewars charged with cryogens as the presence of these in a confined space introduces a suffocation hazard.


A feature of the architectural design is the half-glass partitions between the laboratories and the corridors. Our laboratories contain many hazardous materials, and even the stairs could be dangerous to a child small enough to crawl between the balusters. This could have tragic consequences. To prevent such mishaps you are urged not to bring small children into the building. If children are admitted into the building they must at all times be in the immediate presence of a responsible adult. Children are forbidden from entering laboratories.


The alcoves provide desk, reading and conversational areas adjacent to the laboratories.  Keep all furniture within the alcove area and do not block the corridors.  

Energy Conservation

The building is heated and cooled by a "once through" air system.  To help conserve energy, turn off all unnecessary equipment and lights in offices, alcoves, and laboratories.

Department Services and Facilities

Major Department facilities include beam lines at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), Van de Graaff and LINAC accelerators.  In addition, the Department is well equipped with the tools necessary for chemical research, including a 400-MHz NMR, a GC/mass spectrometer, numerous laser systems, and a computer network.  Several support services - machine shop, instrument design shop, computer and programming assistance are available to staff scientists.

Main Office – Jean Petterson (Rm. 200)
All visitors and guests to the Chemistry Department must have prior approval and must check in at the front office when arriving to work in the Chemistry Department.  Prior to visiting or collaborating with members of the Chemistry Department, guest registration forms must be completed and submitted for approval.  Foreign nationals cannot be allowed on the site without prior approval from our Foreign Visits and Assignments Office. A minimum of 30 days prior to arrival is requested for processing the paperwork for their visit.

Facility specific safety training is required for all employees and guests.The building is locked in the evening from 5 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. 

Located in the main office area is the Department's copying and fax machines and mailboxes.  

Stockroom – Lee Walcott (Rm. 212)
The items in the Stockroom, except substances on the OSHA human carcinogen list, alcohol, drugs, precious metals and apparatus with capital equipment numbers, are available in open stock.  If you need help locating anything or if you want to purchase something not in stock, see Lee Walcott.  Items in the chemical stockroom are inventoried on the Chemical Management System (CMS).  It is required that you transfer that item to your inventory when you take an item for use in your laboratory.

Laboratory vehicles are available for on-site use. A valid driver's license is required to operate them.  Do not keep the vehicle out for longer than 30 minutes without permission.  A check-out sheet is posted in the Stockroom.

Research Space Manager
Maintenance of the building such as removal of shelves, custodial questions, telephone service, office moves or general repairs, need to be coordinated with the Research Space Manager, James Anselmini, x4399. Also contact him concerning any trades working in the building.

Facility Project Manager
Questions relating to building issues in the Chemistry Department should be directed to the Facility Project Manager, Steve Howell, x2468 or 4310.

Technical Services and Instrumentation Shop – James Anselmini (Room 213)
Design, construction and repair of specialized equipment; high-vacuum techniques and leak testing, thin film coating, silver soldering and brazing, electromechanical design; high vacuum hardware distributed; coordination of large fabrication projects. 

Machine Shop - F. Maier (Rm. 114)
Small metalworking jobs may be brought directly to the machinist. A drawing or sketch will usually suffice.  Scheduling of larger jobs should be coordinated through Instrumentation Shop (Anselmini).

NMR - David Grills (Rm. 205)
The Department has a 400 MHz Bruker Avance FT-NMR configured for multinuclear solution studies.  1H, 13C, 31P and 19F are available on a QNP probe.  The spectrometer is user-operated, and an ILR for charges is required for users outside of the Chemistry Department.
See Morris Bullock for more details. 

Computer Services - M. Kahanda (Rm. 200E)
The Chemistry Department computer service personnel support computing environments ranging from departmental Unix and Linux workstations to personal computers, both PC and MAC.  Any proposed changes to the network must be discussed with Mahendra Kahanda, X2973.  Mahendra will also assist with computer/laptop seminar setups and obtaining email accounts. 

The BNL Information Technology Division provides a range of computing services and the Helpdesk can be reached at Ext. 5522 or you can email for assistance. 

Current electronic journals may be accessed by visiting the Research Library’s homepage

Laboratory Services and Facilities
Please see the Laboratory’s homepage  and the Visitor’s Guide

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Last Modified: June 28, 2012